Posts Tagged ‘ toddler adoption ’

Parents of Adopted African Kids Speak Out

Monday, February 6th, 2012

The world’s fastest-growing platform for social change, Change.org sent this to me, and I was amazed at the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Congo.

Parents of adopted Congolese children have even  joined a campaign on Change.org created by Congo native Delly Mawazo Sesete asking Apple CEO Tim Cook to create an iPhone using conflict-free minerals from the Congo.

The campaign was launched by Delly, a Congolese activist and attorney fighting human rights abuses in the mining industry despite violence and death threats.

“My son is Congolese,” writes Melanie White, who joined Delly’s campaign on Change.org. “We have a moral obligation not to contribute to the causes of war and rape in Democratic Republic of the Congo. No more rapes. No more conflict minerals. No more war orphans.

“Those of us who use Apple products already pay more for them because we believe in their value. I will gladly pay the extra cost of knowing that Apple’s supply chain is ethically sourced. Please do the right thing for the people of Congo.”

Another parent who joined Delly’s campaign, Sarah Schumann, writes, “My adopted son was born in the Congo and it’s important that his country and culture of origin be recognized for the rich and beautiful place it is!”

More than 14,000 people have signed Delly’s online petition demanding Apple commit to creating a conflict-free iPhone using Congolese materials by 2013 –and with each signature, Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, gets an email in his inbox asking him to make a conflict-free iPhone.

Will you join the campaign? Have you considered adopting from an African country like the Congo?

 

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Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff

Military Son Says “Thank You” to Foster Parents

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

I rarely hear from males who have been adopted and that’s one of the reasons this letter is so special: Corey wrote the letter below to thank his adopted parents for saving his life and showing him a bright future.

He said, “I am a 39-year-old male that was born to a physically abusive father and a mother on drugs; I don’t remember much of the abuse because I was so young, a baby. I do remember once my dad went into a bar to drink and left me in the car for hours and hours.

One time, my father was arrested with me in the car and I was put in the jail cell with him until my mother picked us up.

Another time, my sister (she was one year older) and I arrived home from school and our parents were not home. We wandered around the neighborhood for hours, finally asking our neighbor for food because we were hungry. Our parents returned around one in the morning.

Soon after that one, we came home from school again and they never came home. My sister and I walked to a friend’s house, walked in their back door and began helping ourselves to milk and food in their refrigerator. Their mother quietly called the police and the officer picked us up and we were placed in an orphanage.

I’m not sure how long we were there but I soon learned to hate powdered milk and I also learned how cruel kids can be. Sometime later, my sister and I were placed in separate foster homes.

“My foster parents were loving and kind.”

Even my foster bothers were cool! I remember my biological parents having visitations but they were few and far between. I was eventually adopted into a family with my biological sister and we grew up there. Our adopted family pushed us to do well in school, to be honest and loving, and we thrived. My sister eventually went into the navy and I joined the army.

I was gifted with a better life and was made into a better person than I would have been otherwise. I am married with two amazing children. I thank my adoptive parents in my heart every day! I dream of adopting myself and giving another child the helping hand I was given. Thank you for listening!”

If you have an inspiring story, please Comment below.

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Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff

Stranger Danger: Scary Weirdo Lurks on New Year’s Eve!

Friday, December 30th, 2011

It’s a wintry 63 degrees in Los Angeles, as I stretch out from a 4-mile run along the river. The Los Angeles River is much more pastoral and fast-flowing than you’d imagine.

I notice two pink-clad toddlers crab-walking across the lawn toward the local playground right around the corner from my house. They can’t be more than three years old, twins, with two handsome gay daddies laughing on either side.

They make a geometric foursome. Two handsome buttoned-down white-collar dads, each holding the hand of a delicious-looking little girl with jet-black curls and tan skin — I’d bet my Latin roots the little girls are from Guatemala.

If you think it’s strenuous to adopt a foreign toddler because of finances or advanced age, you should see how hard it is to adopt when you are single or gay. Or both! (Several gay adoptive parents I have interviewed don’t want to go on the record but told me that they never inform adoption agencies about their homosexual proclivities on an adoption application.)

Kudos to the couples who persevere. Some Asian and Africa countries, in particular, make it impossible for gay families to adopt.

I watch this happy quartet (two matching daughters with two nearly matching daddies) toddle to the monkey bars,  and I can’t take my eyes off the twins. I’m suddenly so envious I feel like throwing up.

I move closer to see what the two little girls are wearing: Is their hair brushed? Does the one on the left have a dimple in her chin? I imagine what those two lives would have been like in Guatemala or Haiti where so many poverty-stricken children do not have enough to eat.

You are here in Los Angeles, lucky daughters! Land of the Free and the Eco-conscious – and the Gorgeous too. These giggly shy adopted children are wearing designer duds and one dad looks vaguely familiar too, an actor for sure. The other dad might be a doctor or a lawyer; he is well dressed and totally focused on his family.

I realize I am still staring at the insta-family much too hard. Both daddies are now frowning in my direction. I have not blinked away for long minutes.  I may look like a crazy stalker mommy.

Careful! One sweaty stranger lurks in the park just staring at your adopted offspring.

She is I.

Have you gone off the deep end during your adoption search? Tell me a good story and I will publish it.

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Happy Thanksgiving to Foster Kids and Adoptees

Friday, November 25th, 2011

The older I get, the more I put my heart out on my sleeve. Motherhood mellows me.

Perhaps the love of a steady and loyal husband and one very happy and healthy biological boy help me believe in the essence of goodness this year. But this is the last Thanksgiving we will sit three around my table. We will adopt a daughter this year, either internationally from India if we can save that last $15,000 in the middle of this godawful recession. Or this is the year we finish our 24 hours of advanced foster family training and begin the foster process to adopt locally from the Country of Los Angeles.

Of course, this year we are not just three at our holiday table, either. We have friends joining us too. And we are still planning on adopting a new dog because our family gets better and better when we open our hearts to others in need.

These are other things I am especially thankful for this year:

  • I am thankful to my amazing girlfriends who cannot have children around their own tables this year, and they come to mine to help my son play and cook, make puzzles and help mend their broken hearts.
  • I am thankful that my husband (who was so sick for a very long time) is feeling so much better that he has a glimmer of mischief in his pretty blue eyes this year.
  • I am thankful to meet organizations who match expectant parents (like us) with poor neglected kids who need a mom and a dad. Hurry!
  • I am thankful to dog rescue organizations who speak out for the voiceless. We are going to adopt a pretty new female dog this year too.
  • I am thankful that my mom’s cancer tests are coming back negative, one by one!
  • I am thankful that my soon-to-be six-year old son wants a little sister because he wants to share all his toys. Sam realizes just how he is blessed and he wants to share. That shows me we’re doing something fantastic when it comes to raising Sam.

Finally, I am thankful to the readers of The Adoption Diaries. You have a responsibility to shout out the benefits of adoption, so tell your story here!

 

 

 

 

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Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff

Celebrating International Adoption Month

Friday, November 11th, 2011

national adoption monthNovember is International (and National) Adoption Month. How will you celebrate? 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is pleased to provide information for parents and prospective parents on preventing lead poisoning in children who are adopted from outside the United States. Many, many children adopted from overseas may have been exposed to lead in their birth countries.

This information is so important when you’re thinking about adopting internationally and from poverty-stricken countries, which might house orphans in older buildings:

  • Parents of children adopted within the last 3 months
  • Parents now going through the adoption process
  • All future prospective adoptive parents

Something else to consider and read up about regarding international adoptions: malnutrition. It pays to do your adoption homework! The information on the CDC’s website explains about lead poisoning prevention and international adoption.  This information includes a fact sheet, health education eCard, and key prevention messages that all parents should know about.

Also, to celebrate International Adoption Month, as well as National Adoption Month, I’d love all readers of  ”The Adoption Diaries” to enter their young one into the American Baby Magazine’s baby cover contest. Wouldn’t it be amazing to see an adopted or foster child winning the baby cover contest? I urge you to read all about it, and then enter your wee one!

I will be finding ways to celebrate adoption all month long, and the best way to do that (for me) is to find success stories about adoption and share them all with you… stay tuned!

A quick adoption update for me: Darrin and I have narrowed down an international agency where we can begin processing an international adoption of a daughter in India — she will likely be at least three years old. However, we have to plunk down an initial $15,000 to begin the process, and we don’t have that yet!

Nationally, Husband Darrin and I are officially signed up for 24 hours of foster training to begin in Los Angeles Country beginning in January. I’ll keep you posted!

 

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Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff